Innovation 2030 - Page de Q&A (en anglais)
What is the exact deadline of the first phase, March 31st or June 30th ?
The final deadline of the first phase is June 30. But it is important to submit before the intermediate closing of March 31st, if possible for the candidates, since the competition ends as soon as 100 projects are selected. Regarding the success of the challenge so far, the probability is high that phase 1 will end before June 30.
How technically do the candidates file their application ?
The application has to be filed on the following page on Bpifrance’s website : https://extranet.oseo.fr/PSIM-amorcage/index.php/psim_en
You will find a didactic explanation on the way to proceed on the presentation done by the Embassy’s team for the kick-off meeting in Tel Aviv : http://www.ambafrance-il.org/IMG/pdf/Innovation_2030_Israel.pdf
How long is the selection process ?
The process is very swift, the answer will be given 6 weeks at the latest after the deadline. The funds will be allocated 4 weeks after the decision.
Who chooses the 100 projects ?
The projects are all reviewed by a jury of six people including representatives of the French ministries of industry and science, the “Invest for the Future” public agency, the public bank for investment Bpifrance, and members of the “Innovation 2030” commission whose work led to the current challenge.
After a selection on the basis of the application, the best projects will be invited to an audition (in Paris or on video-conference) in front of the jury, who will be reinforced by two specifically appointed experts whose identity will be published ahead of the audition.
What is the exact composition of the application the candidates have to submit by March 31st ?
The schedule is tight but what is expected is very light. The project can be just an idea at this stage and the file is simple. It can be downloaded on the following direct link : https://extranet.oseo.fr/PSIM-amorcage/index.php/psim_en
As a candidate, you have very few documents to prepare and then to upload :
a “technical annex” : a 5 to 10 pages presentation of the project (a text file) and the team ; the format is free ;
a planning of the project (for the coming months, in order to detail the use of the grant) ;
a “state of public resources” document (the model is included in the files you download) explaining what public resources you already got for the project if ever you had (Israeli, French or any public resources) ;
a financial chart (model included in the downloaded files) detailing the way you plan to spend the subsidy by categories of spending.
If you already have created a French company to get the subsidy, you can file (but it is not compulsory for the submission of the project) 2 other specific documents :
the certificate of incorporation in France, or any other document proving the incorporation (a model is included in the files you can download) ;
a “de minimis” fiscal declaration (model also included).
There is no model for the main document, the 5 to 10 pages “technical annex”. What do we have to put inside exactly ?
The file has to contain three main parts :
a description of the idea / project (typically 3 to 5 pages),
a description of what is planned in France and more generally how the grant will be spent (typically 1 to 2 pages),
a description of the team (typically 1 page)
The first part, the description of the project, should include at least the following information :
an analysis of the fulfilment of a need linked to one of the 7 priorities of the contest and thus the existence of a market and a business model,
a focus on the innovation enclosed by the idea and the breakthrough it represents,
a demonstration of the realism of the project.
The description of the next steps of the project should show in particular how the grant will be spent (by the French company or French partner which will get it). If the project is getting other financing for this phase, please mention it. Be as transparent as possible.
Finally, the description of the team should show that this is the right team to handle the project.
What is a good file ? How should we present it ?
The file should be as short as possible, as long as you give all the important information and remain clear. Try to be as reader-friendly as possible.
The best files received so far are the ones which are very structured, with clear parts and titles, highlights on the main information, short and clear sentences and paragraphs.
Don’t write too small, leave many blank spaces. Don’t hesitate to include photos if relevant ; and charts if easy to read.
On the scientific and technological content, try to be as accessible as possible since the jury is not necessarily a specialist of your precise field or sub-field. Use all the right key words for the specialists and at the same time, try to explain the project like you would do for a non-specialist.
Don’t hesitate also to add a short summary at the beginning of the text.
In which languages can the candidates apply ?
The application can be in English or in French.
Are the 7 priorities exclusive ? Is it possible to apply in a different field ?
The project has to be related to (at least) one of the priorities (or “ambitions”) :
recycling of metals,
development of marine resources,
plant proteins and chemistry,
“silver economy”, which means “innovation in the service of longevity” in diplomatic terms,
These categories are quite wide. It is an occasion to relate projects which come from different horizons to them if these projects can bring a technological breakthrough also for the selected fields.
It is important in the file to explain clearly what the project brings to the core of the priority.
On which criteria will the best projects be selected ?
The main criteria for the selection of beneficiaries are the following :
Degree of response to one of the 7 priorities
Degree of disruption in terms of innovation (whether technological or not) ;
Technical and/or scientific feasibility ;
Potential economic consequences of the project ;
Ability of the initiator to see his project through.
Since the projects are supposed to be very upstream, the ideas can be really confidential. How is the intellectual property protected ?
The projects are not made public, they are kept within the confidential circle of the jury, who is bound to professional confidence and has signed a strict deontology chart. The French State is responsible for the respect of this absolute confidentiality.
What kind of financing will the 100 laureates win ? Grants ? Loans ?
The laureates will get grants - seed subsidies to be precise. In particular, no reimbursement is expected in case of success.
What does “up to 200,000 euros” mean exactly ?
The exact amount will be determined by Bpifrance according to the precise nature of the project and the precise demand. The needs can be very different depending on the field and on the project.
Who gives the money exactly and how ?
The grant will be allocated by Bpifrance, the French new public bank for investment. 70% of the grant is paid upon signature of the contract, the rest after completion of the scheduled tasks.
What control will there be on the spending of the money ? What reporting will be asked ?
The laureates will contract with Bpifrance on the spending of the money. They will have to justify the spending of the money at the end of the planned schedule in order to get the last 30% of the grant. No intermediate reporting will be requested in most cases.
If the laureates need to change their plans (and spending) in the course of the project, they will have to inform Bpifrance beforehand.
Can an Israeli entity receive the money ? Who gets the money if there are several partners ?
The money can be allocated to a French company only. An Israeli entrepreneur has either to create a French company to get the money, or to find a French partner. The creation of a French entity is not requested upon filing the project ; it can be done when selected.
In case of a consortium, the candidates will have to decide which entity gets the grant – this one has to be a French company.
Will an Israeli entrepreneur have to re-allocate all his team and project in France ?
The aim of the contest is to contribute to the innovation and competitiveness of the French industry. Therefore, the candidates have to make their project beneficial for France and Europe, in terms of value added and employment in particular.
This does not mean that the Israeli entrepreneurs will have to locate or re-locate the whole project in France. In particular, the intellectual property can remain in Israel. Nevertheless, the grant of the contest has to be spent by the French part of the project, either a subsidy in France or a French partner.
The contest is also open in France. Is there a priority given to French entrepreneurs ?
There is no priority given to French entrepreneurs. On the contrary, the contest is a great occasion to bring to the French innovative community new actors and new partners from all over the world. The projects will be selected regarding their merits only, wherever they come from.
Since Israel is one of the main priorities of the French government in terms of technological partnerships, is there any kind of priority given to Israeli entrepreneurs ?
France has decided to have a special focus on Israel in terms of promotion of the contest in order to maximize the number of Israeli entrepreneurs submitting projects. Nevertheless, the projects will be chosen on the basis of their quality only, not their origin. The Israeli innovators are in competition with innovators from all over the world, the same way the French innovators are.
How can Israeli entrepreneurs get further information ?
The French embassy in Israel is organizing several information events. After the kick-off meeting on Campus Tel Aviv on February 10, the embassy is now organizing three workshops for the entrepreneurs in Jerusalem (March 11), Haifa (March 12) and Nazareth (March 13). You can find the details on the website of the embassy, please register !
There is also already substantial information on the website, including these Q&A, and directly through the dedicated website of the competition : http://www.innovation2030.org/en/
Is there a contact person in the Embassy ?
The competition in Israel is supervised by the Economic section of the embassy, which is coordinating the innovation “task force” of the embassy. The team has created a dedicated hotline for the contest that you can reach at the following address : firstname.lastname@example.org
We will answer all your questions, from the general to the specific. We are at your disposal to help you apply and support you, for instance to incorporate in France.
What about the next phase ? For which projects is it designed ?
The next phase is designed for projects which have already done significant R&D and which are typically after the “proof of concept”. The precise specifications will be published by September 1st.
What will be the prize for the next phase ? For how many projects ?
30 projects will be selected for this phase, and each project will get up to 2 million euros. This financial support will be given through different tools, including grants and loans, depending on the project.
What will be the schedule ?
The next phase is opening on September 1st and will end by the end of the year – the precise schedule will be published by then.
Is the second phase dedicated to the projects already selected in the first one ?
No, the two phases are independent. Projects selected in the first phase can compete, but any other project can also.
I am not sure of the phase of the project I should apply. Should I wait for the second one ?
If you already have a proof of concept and are working on a pilot, you may be more suited to the second phase. Nevertheless, since the two phases are independent, you have nothing to lose by applying now.
What about the third phase in 2016 ?
The third phase is a closed one, dedicated to projects selected now, during the first and second phases. Up to 2 projects per priority will get 20 million euros to go to the industrial phase.
This means that if you are selected in the current phase for 200,000 euros and/or the next 2 million euros phase, you get the option to get 20 million euros in 2016.